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Hi everyone,

My 92 Honda Civic was murdered recently (computer, battery & distributor stolen) and the insurance company has deemed it a total loss. Now I wait to see how much they're going to pay me for it.

While I wait I'm looking at Smart, Toyota Prius, and various Nissans and Hondas.

I test drove a Smartie yesterday and it was love at first sight. I asked the salesman "Why would I want to use manual if automatic is already on the car?"

"Because it's more fun!!!" he said.

I thought that was weird until it was my turn to drive. It was the most fun ever!!!!! My Civic was a manual and after 15 years I swore no more manuals. My clutch foot had HAD it. It was done. Who knew I could get a manual with paddles on the steering wheel? I'm an IRL fan and felt like I was a race car driver!

I was really impressed with the acceleration. Way more powerful than the Prius.

I've found a lot of helpful information in these forums so decided to join.

I'm hoping to find information on how you guys transport your cats in a cat carrier in a Smartie. It's too hot in the back where the engine is, isn't it? Does a carrier fit back there?

Also, at Universal City they don't seem to have the really cool colors like lime green, orange, pink...where do you get those colors???
 

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smart Colors

Hi everyone,

My 92 Honda Civic was murdered recently (computer, battery & distributor stolen) and the insurance company has deemed it a total loss. Now I wait to see how much they're going to pay me for it.

While I wait I'm looking at Smart, Toyota Prius, and various Nissans and Hondas.

I test drove a Smartie yesterday and it was love at first sight. I asked the salesman "Why would I want to use manual if automatic is already on the car?"

"Because it's more fun!!!" he said.

I thought that was weird until it was my turn to drive. It was the most fun ever!!!!! My Civic was a manual and after 15 years I swore no more manuals. My clutch foot had HAD it. It was done. Who knew I could get a manual with paddles on the steering wheel? I'm an IRL fan and felt like I was a race car driver!

I was really impressed with the acceleration. Way more powerful than the Prius.

I've found a lot of helpful information in these forums so decided to join.

I'm hoping to find information on how you guys transport your cats in a cat carrier in a Smartie. It's too hot in the back where the engine is, isn't it? Does a carrier fit back there?

Also, at Universal City they don't seem to have the really cool colors like lime green, orange, pink...where do you get those colors???
Unfortunately, the colors are all special order. If you decide on the smart, ask your salesperson if the body shop can paint your panels, and how much it would cost.

As far as cat carriers, they can easily be carried in back. If you're concerned about the heat from the engine, just make sure the carrier is behind the driver's seat. But I just put down an extra thick quilt for my dog, and I've had no problem. Also, A cat carrier would fit in the passenger seat if you don't have a passenger.

Enjoy!
 

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I thought it got hot back there but I did a poll long ago that suggests most people don't find it an issue. I added some thermal (and sound) insulation before I had the car delivered, so my situation would be less than others.

There is plenty of room back there for a cat carrier unless your cat needs a carrier larger than a bobcat's. [caution: hotlinked image] While I haven't transported a bobcat, the large carrier pictured looks like it would be accommodated; I'm not certain.

The unusual colors (like my Merlot Red) are typically custom paint jobs. It's less extreme to paint the panels off the body than it is to mask, prep, and paint a typical car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone for replying! That info is very helpful. John, that merlot color is really great!
 

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Jinjer - you sound smart enough to know you won't be happy in a prius or a fit. :D

Congratulations and welcome to SCOA!

Suze

PS - John is right - custom paint is the way to go. :)
 

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Hey John, My Uncle had a Bobcat as a house pet, and I think that carrier would fit.


Enjoy the Manual mode. I found on the test drive why both is good.

While taking that test drive in manual mode my brither called, I poped it into auto and could take the call, Long enough to say I would call back. Also helpful if you enjoy a hot drink in the morning. And the fact you dont have to down shift at stops makes it even better.

Now I only use manual for those ocational twisty hilly roads for more control comming out of the turns. Otherwise I would forget I was in manual when I come to that stoplight 10 miles from home and forget to upshift as I pull away.
 

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Jinjer, how funny, I just went to Universal City to purchase my Smart today (pending sale). Good luck with your purchase, I really like the people I've met at the Universal City dealership....awesome service, friendly staff.

I am thinking about painting mine too (at some point) but for now I am getting the white with black cell, black interior. The idea of a skilled body shop being able to pull off panels should mean a lot less cost for labor, not to mention a better paint-job. That Merlot does look great. I love the lime-green ones I've seen too, and orange is hot.

I am new to this forum myself, but welcome! :D Good luck with your purchase should you choose to proceed.

NukleoN
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone. I'm still deciding. Yesterday I test-drove a Mini Cooper and absolutely loved it but I'm reading about how expensive it is to maintain. I test drove a Beetle yesterday also but compared to the Smart and Mini it was borrrrring. LOL

2 concerns I have with the Smart:

How does it do in windy conditions and when draft from a huge truck passing on the freeway? I live in L.A. so I'm on the freeway every day.

How does it hold up in rear end collisions which happen all the time around here.

Thanks!
 

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2 concerns I have with the Smart:

How does it do in windy conditions and when draft from a huge truck passing on the freeway? I live in L.A. so I'm on the freeway every day.

How does it hold up in rear end collisions which happen all the time around here.

Thanks!
1, Some say it moves around, but you have a lot of extra room to move in your lane. Others have no problem. I drove it in a wind storm in the winter and it did great, 30 MPG Up wind for 200 miles and 50 mpg downwind on the return trip.

2. Have you visited www.safeandsmart.com It's put together by smart usa and includeds survival and avoidance stories from owners experiences. Better than lab crash tests. If you stay aleart (the world needs more learts) you should be able to hide out of the way of that person behind you who isn't paying attention. The car is small and can find safe places when necesary
 

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ahh... Jinjer - I thought your mind was made up. Oh, well.

If you want a mini go for it. You'll prolly pay 8-10 grand more for a comparably equipped car, tho...

Sheesh - I thought you were a smartie for sure.... Good Luck. :)
 

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Heya Jinjer,

Yeah, the Mini was my second choice too, but I would have gone Mini Cooper S if I got one which I believe is 22-23k with the options I want (and not even that many options). If I didn't go Smart I would want performance from the Mini.

In my opinion, the Smart gets a lot of points from me simply because it's so tiny, which is a huge benefit in my eyes and lesser performance is forgiven. Since I know the Mini can perform, I would insist on the S, but it's like 8k more than the Smart.

So, the way I look at it is, if I buy a smart and love it, I win and I've saved money (and space) over the Cooper S. If I hate it, well, the entry cost wasn't too bad and I am sure resale will be decent, or heck it's small and cheap enough to pay off and still get the Mini later, though after driving it (and judging by my emotional reaction to its visual appeal, I doubt I will hate it).

So, ask yourself, is money an issue, how much do you love the smart, and how much regret will you feel seeing a smart whilst driving a mini (and vice versa). If you can picture yourself in one of the cars you want and seeing the car you didn't buy and being ok with that, then it's probably a good gauge of where you're at with your decision.

Either way...good luck with it (get the smart). :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again everyone!! I'm still waiting on the insurance and still agonizing over Smart vs Mini. I wish I could get both!! LOL.
 

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If you're wondering about having a back seat versus not having one, have you actually sat in the back of a Mini?

I ask because long before the Smart was available, I wondered about the Mini. I was not pleased with the back seat's accommodations. But it's been a few years since that auto show. Are things better now?
 

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I had a Mini in the UK and like the revival Mini better than the New Beetle vs. old Beetle. If I were looking at a Mini, I think I'd go with the Clubman model - Economical, efficient, room to haul.

On the small car side, I've had an original Mini, an original VW Beetle and the Smart. I've also had motorcycles. I've had other cars (Chevrolet, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Toyota) and while each had its merits and I liked some better than others, Smart is still my favourite car.

I consider the motorcycles one class. The conventional cars a class. And the Smart, its own class since there aren't any other micro cars being marketed in the US yet. (I put the Mini in the conventional class in the UK.)
 

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There is just no way to put this without it sounding inappropriate, but, you can get an idea of safety, especially being rear-ended here:

You should check out your other interests' safety ratings as well to compare (their rear-ending ratings may surprise you).

I also have a 2000 New Beetle TDI, chipped, 50 mpg, 0-60 in 7 seconds, and every bit as fun as my smart but VW currently only has the Jetta with the TDI and nothing Cabrio TDI in the USA.

The Mini is an all around outstanding vehicle and was contender against my smart purchase when my wife convinced me to sell the Bug to my son.

The smart holds up wonderfully on the freeway with the big boy trucks and is simply a real pleasure to own and drive. Its price and fun factor trumped the competition and I could not be more happy with the decision.
 

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As Nike says..... "Just Do It!"

I was ALMOST stupid instead of being SMART! :( Just before my car arrived in May of 2008, I almost decided not to get it! Fortunately, I changed my mind, went for a test drive, wasn't really impressed, but decided (after reading a lot of info on this forum), to follow through and take a chance, since I really LOVED the looks of the car & everything that it offered for the price! This was one of the GREAT decisions of my life, and I haven't regretted it a single day! :) This car is the most fun I've ever had with a vehicle, with the "possible" exception of a Gold Wing Aspencade that I had in 1982! :) Also, if you want to "individualize" your car, but can't afford a complete paint job or a total "wrap", you can get graphics decals/transfers to dress your car up and make it "YOU", such as I've done! Here's a link for some photos that show what I'm talking about. Mine is the blue/silver with the "Patriotic Tear", which..... when you're looking at it, looks like someone took a can opener to the side of the car, ripped it open, and there's a flag underneath! :) BTW, some of the other "stuff" on my car sides and hood were just temporary "stick-ems" for the Bellingham, WA parade that we did!
http://photos1.walmart.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=803171001/a=5412757_5412757/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/
 
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